Slices of history
A Beaconite recently made her first visit to Jenesis Studios and met artist Reuben Vanterpool for a tour. The site was one of many in the territory featured for International Museum Day, and the reporter is grateful to Mr. Vanterpool for taking the time for a one-on-one tour of his art studio and beautifully cultivated garden. She has heard stories of how daily life in the territory has changed just within a generation, but it is something else entirely to be immersed in history through dioramas, life-size models, paintings, and especially a wonderfully fragrant garden showcasing plants that have been used for food and medicine. But what really makes the experience special is Mr. Vanterpool’s storytelling ability that transports listeners to the schoolhouse, up somewhat treacherously steep hills with sugarcane-laden donkeys, and into other facets of life. The Beaconite looks forward to visiting again soon. Covering International Museum Day wasn’t the only brush with history she experienced over the past week. During a donation ceremony last Thursday, doctors at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital shared stories of their struggles throughout the decades to deal with blood shortages. These challenges meant surgeries were often delayed, and staff sometimes resorted to searching out donors on the street by looking for a familiar car. The hospital’s lab took a step forward now with the donation of new equipment from the Rotary Club of Tortola. Who knows what life in the Virgin Islands will look like in a few decades.
A Beaconite who travelled recently had a very pleasant experience going and coming through the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Customs and immigration agents on both ends were polite, helpful and efficient, and his arrival and departure experiences were very smooth as a result. Given, his trip came before the airport’s sudden closure on Friday, but he was very glad to see the good service, especially given that the airport will likely be much busier starting with the advent of direct flights to Miami today. He hopes that leaders will ensure that the officers who work at the airport will get the support they need in order to accommodate the increased workload. This will doubtlessly mean funding additional staff and possibly expanding certain areas of the facility. But his recent experience was certainly a good start. He would like to thank the staff there for their hard work.
As concerns about Covid-19 dwindle, a Beaconite is pleased to see activities pick up across the territory and its neighbouring islands. Tourists are once again flooding the beaches even during the hotter parts of the year as the off-season gets under way. The Poker Run was a well-attended and welcome activity — especially since it was last held in 2019. She remembers attending her first poker run that year and being amazed by the entire event. She was new to the territory, so it was a cultural experience she’ll never forget. She hopes to attend next year’s poker run, which will be the 20th anniversary of the event. The reporter was also excited to see big-name deejays headline an electronic dance music festival in the United States Virgin Islands over the weekend. It seems that the territories are quickly becoming more accessible and sought after for United States residents eager to taste Caribbean culture while experiencing some of the best beaches in the world. The reporter just hopes that the VI will continue to increase its airlift capacity without airports shutting down and without ridiculous prices for direct flights to the US. She supposes it’s all (as it has been for decades now) a work in progress.